Science Says: It's In His Kiss, That's Where It Is

According to a study done by Lafayette College researchers, there really is such a thing as chemistry with certain kissing partners. And not just because your partner tastes like your favorite kind of Doritos.

The study, which followed the levels of two hormones: oxytocin("known to be involved in social bonding") and cortisol (a stress hormone), in 15 heterosexual couples before and after kissing "shows kissing is much more complex and causes hormonal changes and things we never thought occurred," says Lafayette Professor Wendy Hill. "We tend to think more about who we are kissing and how it feels, yet there are a lot of other things happening."

The "other things" Hill refers to are, of course, hormone level triggers and the possibility that saliva contains pheromones. In the study, "cortisol levels fell in both sexes, although oxytocin levels rose in men but fell in women." The researchers believe that the sterile testing environment may have something to do with women not being into the kisses, and have since started testing in a more romantic environment. Because nothing says romantic like, "Kiss here, please, and then let us test your hormones. We'll pay you!"

And perhaps it's more than just environmental factors that influence whether or not a woman responds chemically to a kiss: Susan Hughes, co-author of Sex Differences in Romantic Kissing among College Students: An Evolutionary Perspective notes that "Females place a lot more importance on the breath and teeth of the person. This shows how well you care for yourself and your hygiene and women are a lot more picky when it comes to that."

So what say you, commenters? Is kissing an evolutionary means of finding a good mate? Or is a kiss just a kiss?

Oh, and because I already got the song in your head (sorry!):



Science Finds The Passion Hidden In Kiss [Times Online]